As I was pushing through the pain on the USA Health & Fitness Tour sometimes I ripped the skin right off my fingers right down to the bone. Some days I climbed hills that seem to go on for ever, other days the heat index off the black pavement exceeded 120 degrees farhenheit, other days it was pouring rain and I felt as if I might have to be a man of steel like the Terminator to survive and stay on schedule. That took me back to the time I met Lewis Tardy at the Bayou City Arts festival in Houston. Lewis sculpts in welded steel and found objects in a biomechanical style. He uses bicycle parts, wrenches, surgical tools and other metal objects. When I first saw his work it made me think of the “Terminator” movies and reminded me of my friend Arnold Schwarzenegger. I worked with Arnold for years on The President’s Council for Physical Fitness. I thought the biomechanical style Lewis Tardy used would be good to make a likeness of a wheelchair athlete. Lewis was impressed with my work as a world champion wheelchair athlete and Paralympian. He was inspired to create a one of a kind sculpture entitled “Wheelchair Racer.” I think it exhibits the speed and power I feel when I’m racing in my chair. I never give up and won’t let anything stop me from overcoming adversity. That’s another reason for the tour and my new book “Revolutions.” I want people to never give up on their path to fitness and realize there’s always a way. Those thoughts help me keep pushing on through the adversity, they inspired me and gave me inspirational faith and brought out the inspirational athlete inside me to keep pushing on through whatever adversity from flat tires to heat to ripped skin off your fingers down to the bone to make it to my next destination.
You can go to www.tardysculpture.com, click on enter and when the page loads click on Gallery on the left and on the top bar click on Velocipede then drop down, the last one will be wheeled racer. There you can see different shots of the wheeled racer and other great works by sculpture Lewis Tardy.